Affinity 8.6

Affinity 8.6 Description

The Affinity 8.6 is a kayak brought to you by Clearwater Leisure. Read Affinity 8.6 reviews or submit your own review to share with the paddling community. Check out a few other kayak recommendations below or explore all kayaks to find the perfect one for you!

Clearwater Leisure
Affinity 8.6 Reviews

Read reviews for the Affinity 8.6 by Clearwater Leisure as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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My husband bought me 'my…

Submitted by: paddler521879 on 7/2/2019

My husband bought me 'my first kayak.' It was one of the lightest, yet robust available. I'm only a weekend recreational user in still water so it suits me fine. There is also front and rear storage areas with bungy cords for tie down. Easy to maneuver with a wide cavity and a conveniently located drinks holder. It is more than I expected. However the seat is not padded so it can get uncomfortable after a while so I added my own favourite foam seat which is better than others that are fitted. All in all, more bang for your buck.


Fell in love with this…

Submitted by: paddler451558 on 6/19/2019

Fell in love with this little Kayak as it had 'fun' written all over it. It is about 4 years old and gets plenty of use. I've used it on river runs down the North Oconee river, on various lakes and even in the Gulf of Mexico. I've raced in it, meandered in it, fished in it and even been dumped out of it. Its short length allows for easy maneuvering and shallow draw for getting over shoals, where others could not. A heads up though. The keel doesn't have sufficient material to handle such a workout, so I wore through the last five inches in no time. A preventative fiberglass patch fixed it up fine. So now with a new awareness I'll get many more years of fun out of it.


Bought 4 seasons ago so…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 3/12/2019

Bought 4 seasons ago so probably 2014. Of all my kayaks: I keep going back to this one: fits IN crv. quoted: 39lbs from factory website. takes 240lbs. but I've loaded near 300lb with gear. Drag it, sent it down a cliff a few times to shore (not kidding) cut holes in top-front and back with jigsaw for “Gamma2” 15lb HDPE screw top & rubber ring seal, petfood storage. While the holes were open: added to car size, real tire tubes for floatation. Last year broke drain plug, generic one from amazon was 2-for-$6.99. Very very happy, only use long pointy yak when my dick friends want to be speedy and linear. This is a slow but Very stable boat. Mahalo.


Just got off 3 days on the…

Submitted by: paddler236960 on 7/19/2016
Just got off 3 days on the Oregon coast with this sweet little ride. It's my 4th kayak, and I always buy 8 foot kayaks. I love the flexibility of putting them in the back of my car or SUV. This kayak performs great. I have 2 other sit on tops and wanted to try something different so I can go fishing and crabbing. Of course, my purchase at TJ Maxx helped save me a lot of money too... great buy under $200. Footpads, front and back storage, and light weight help out too. You'll love it.

My wife bought my Affinity…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/20/2016
My wife bought my Affinity for an early Father's Day present. I was SOO Excited. A week later I found a yellow one for her and we have gone out 4 times already. We love kayaking and we love our Clearwaters. She purchased mine at our local TJ Maxx for $169 and I got hers at another TJ Maxx for the same price. My wife had researched them before she bought mine and found many good reviews. Since we are new to kayaking, we didn't want to spend hundreds of dollars on something that we might not enjoy. We made a good decision on these kayaks and on kayaking in general. WE LOVE IT! The Affinity 8.6 are great "Starter" kayaks. They maneuver easily and feel very stable. I will say that the seat is a little uncomfortable after a few hours so I will probably look for a replacement seat but I can't complain too much. Being on the water is truly relaxing.

I purchased after a long list…

Submitted by: paddler236796 on 5/25/2016
I purchased after a long list & process of elimination, my choice was CLEARWATER AFFINITY 8.6, it not only fits in my CR-V, low profile makes getting in & out a breeze, I use it to fish out of as well, it's multi channel & very stabile, very happy with my purchase, t/y.

I purchased two of these…

Submitted by: paddler236734 on 4/29/2016
I purchased two of these kayaks from TJ Maxx for $169 each. I had ALMOST paid nearly twice as much for another brand, but at the last minute a friend told me about this deal. Since my daughter and I are new to kayaking we decided to go for these as "Starter" kayaks. They are perfect for our needs. Maneuver easily, and feel very stable. The only thing I don't like about them is the seat, my back hurts after a couple hours of paddling, so I am going to look for a replacement seat. Other than that, very pleased with them.

Saw the Clearwater Affinity…

Submitted by: paddler236665 on 3/9/2016
Saw the Clearwater Affinity 8.6 yak at a local Marshall's for $169. Seen the same version at other Marshall's and TJ Maxx for the same price, but I lucked out because the chair back was broke. Bargained it down to $122, and what a deal it was! First run on it was calm river, and of course I took a fishing pole. Landed my first large mouth since my freshman year in college! You'd think the fish was caught, but it was me that was hooked. Ever since, I added a couple pole mounts, a couple kleats, and made a new seat (extra cushion for my, excuse my french, boney ass) for an extra $25. Got an anchor too for $8, rivers aren't always calm. For $155 I have the perfect fishing vessel for calm water, river rapids, and (on a pleasant days) coastal waters. Just don't be too fancy, and always wear a PFD.

AWESOME beginner kayak.…

Submitted by: paddler236630 on 1/20/2016
AWESOME beginner kayak. Installed 2 rear rod holder and a Scotty rod holder on the front. Very stable and treads well. $169.00 you can't beat the price.

The Affinity 8.6 is a great…

Submitted by: skirk on 11/25/2015
The Affinity 8.6 is a great kayak for the money and we love ours. A word of caution is hope that you will never need replacement parts as the distributor is terrible. We ordered a $15 set of plugs and were charged over $30 for shipping. They put an incomplete address on the label and then told us we would be charged an additional fee to have it corrected so the package would be delivered! The absolute worst customer service and to date neither the president of the distribution center or Clearwater Leisure has responded to my complaint. So just be warned, but the kayak is great!

I'm extremely happy with my…

Submitted by: paddler236570 on 10/15/2015
I'm extremely happy with my Clearwater Affinity 8.6! This is my 1st kayak. As I started having knee issues just this year, I actually appreciate the wider opening. I do only flat water with slight current to level 1 waters but it's very stable! A little sluggish but its b/c its a wider body.
Very easy to transport - I literally lift it straight into my minivan! I think for the price, it was definitely a perfect choice!

I bought 2 of these for my…

Submitted by: stowaway on 9/9/2015
I bought 2 of these for my children (11 & 13). My girlfriend has the exact same one and is the reason I picked these up for my kids. They're very stable, track well and easy to use. Our 40lbs dog sits on the back without issue. Can't go wrong for the price. I just need to install fishing rod holders now cause the kids want to fish as well.

Bought this kayak recently…

Submitted by: paddler236507 on 9/9/2015
Bought this kayak recently for my wife, who proved to be too small to fit comfortably in it. foot braces would not adjust closely enough for her 5'4" frame. Also, seat was atrocious.
Having said all that, I feel quite fortunate to have bought the boat ($170 at TJ Maxx). That's because I inherited it. I am an avid recreational paddler, occasional whitewater (2-3) on the Potomac River outside DC, and own five other kayaks. I would not suggest that level of whitewater with the Affinity ONLY because it lacks a good lip for a spray skirt. The cockpit is huge and somewhat square, making a skirt impracticable, even if there is one big enough. everything else about the boat, though, is great! with a new seat (Hudson Trail outfitters - $60), this boat has gone ALL over the Potomac this summer. It is resilient, surfs well (again, class 1-1.5 only so far), turns well and tracks well. It is very comfortable, extremely stable and fairly light to carry.
Nice job, clearwater.

I bought this 8'6''…

Submitted by: Tonephoto on 9/2/2015
I bought this 8'6'' Clearwater kayak from Marshals for $159.99. Not bad for the price and for lazy rivers and lakes. I've even taken it though the great swamp with no problems, Got to get a second one for my wife!!!

Just purchased this Affinity…

Submitted by: paddler236470 on 8/31/2015
Just purchased this Affinity kayak by Clearwater Leisure. I like the fact that it is very portable and is very well made for the price ($169+ tax). I think that it's wide beam makes it very stable and will be good for the kids.

I am using this on small…

Submitted by: paddler236284 on 6/22/2015
I am using this on small lakes, so my review is based on calm waters. This thing tracks great. I have taken it in the open with a stiff wind and had no issues. I took it through large beds of weeds and had no issues.
It turns excellent. It is comfortable.
I am 6'3" 255#. I put my 53# son on the back cargo area. We took on some water, but I learned if I just turned easy we could slow the water infiltration.
I am absolutely pleased with this kayak, especially for the price of $149 at TJ Maxx.

Fantastic starter kayak! I…

Submitted by: paddler235973 on 9/10/2014
Fantastic starter kayak! I turned it over to my 13 year old and in calm water it is super stable. When paddling it is not always straight or easy to control in a current but on calm water it performs like nominal

Good kayak for beginners or…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/4/2014
Good kayak for beginners or someone wanting to get back into the sport for a reasonable price. Picked one up for $169, doesn't get much cheaper. It tracks good, turns quick. Good on flat water also does well on mild rivers. May try on something a little bigger after adding a skirt. I think it will do fine. Has nice bow and stern handles for carrying, light enough to carry alone. All it needs is some floatation bags and you're good to go. Also has on deck storage areas front and rear with bungles. Not a bad yak for the money.

basic good design except for…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/20/2014
basic good design except for the minor leakage where the handles are attached.......however the stop plugs on the footrests were not properly installed..I could not slide the footrest..... so that I had to demount the footrest slide bar from the hull..not easy...MOST annoying was that my Email asking for help was IGNORED

I just bought two of these…

Submitted by: paddler235807 on 8/4/2014
I just bought two of these for my husband and I, and we absolutely love them. We are beginner's, and these are perfect for the lake or easy going river. They are very light weight and both fit in my SUV no problem. I recommend these for a comfortable easy going float, and the pricing was great!

I purchased this kayak…

Submitted by: paddler235794 on 7/30/2014
I purchased this kayak because I needed something light to carry over to the lake. This fit the bill perfectly. The water was a bit choppy when I started and this little boat handled like a champ. I even guided it through a heavy water lilly infested area to fetch a piece of drift wood. I only gave it an 8 because at 5'2" my feet could not reach the food rests.

Just got this and like the…

Submitted by: paddler235741 on 7/12/2014
Just got this and like the first person to review this boat, I really like it.
A little Background: I have a Wilderness Systems Kaos that's good for surf and not much else. I have a 12 foot sit on top fishing kayak with 4 rod holders and 2 hatches and lots of on deck storage, great for fishing, but too big to throw in the car and HEAVY. This little guy fits into my HHR with room to spare, and I can still fit my wife's Prijon alien on top and close the gate and there is still enough room for the two of us and our gear. Granted one of us has to sit in the backseat, but we never have to go very far.

Back to the boat, it feels a little cheap, instead of putting hooks on the bungees they are simply tied on making it difficult to stow something the size of a backpack without the straps trying to crush it. I will be altering this. I have already changed the way my handles were installed. There was a hole drilled trough a bump in the plastic on the deck of the boat with a thin nylon rope to a handle. I removed the nylon rope and got some plastic tubing about the same size as the hole pushed it though and flared the ends out using a torch to warm the plastic. then I tied para-cord to the handle doubled up the line and pushed it though the hole and basically made a larks head with it. Now I am a little more water tight, there is more to support the weight of the boat when I am using the handle to carry it, and I feel like it is less likely that the could get ripped out of the deck. The thinner plastic does have its advantages as far as making the boat light weight, and it's as thick as it needs to be for what it is.

If you already have your paddle, life-jacket, and other kayak gear, this boat is a no-brainer for the price.


I bought this Kayak on sale…

Submitted by: paddler235731 on 7/9/2014
I bought this Kayak on sale for $200. It wasn't the one i went looking for but i decided to get it because i needed a new one and didn't want to spend too much.

The pros: It's incredibly light. I'm used to an old fiberglass hand me down that was incredibly heavy and bulky. This Affinity is so light i can carry it with one hand. It's also pretty stable for such a short kayak. I took it out on the Raritan Bay and even though it got really choppy in some places, the kayak never let me down.

Features: small drain on the back for easy draining. small cargo area in back with bungies crossing it. padded seat back. most importantly, a cup holder at the front of the seat.

definitely the perfect beginner kayak, i love its simple spartan design lacking all he silly bells and whistles of pricier models